Navigating the Flood Claims Process
Suffering a loss is never easy, and suffering from a flood loss can seem like visiting a foreign country for the first time. You’ve made an itinerary, have an idea of the culture, and may know some of the language, but you don’t know exactly what to expect until you arrive.
When most of us think of the insurance claim process, it can be equally overwhelming. But just like an itinerary, you can help your clients better prepare themselves by understanding the claims process so they can formulate a plan. Here are five important steps to share with Aon Edge policyholders to help expedite the flood claims filing process.
1. Store Important Documents and Contacts Together
Depending on the flooding situation, you may only have a small window of time to evacuate to safety. So be sure to have your insurance policies and insurance contact information easily accessible. Having this information on-hand will help the stress of potentially filing a claim.
Tip: Ask your agent to send digital copies of your insurance policy declaration pages and policy forms.
2. Report Your Claim
policyholders, the telephone number to report a claim is located on the declarations page. Be prepared to provide your policy number, the date the loss occurred, your contact information (phone/email), and any details about the damage. You should also contact your insurance agent to advise of the claim.
Tip: During the call, take notes, including dates and times, the company you contacted, who you spoke with, and any information they provided.
3. Work with Your Adjuster
It’s important to work with your assigned adjuster. They’ll be investigating, documenting, and assisting you with the claim settlement process. Verify your mailing address with the adjuster and the mortgage company if there is a loan on the property.
Tip: Have a list of questions prepared for the adjuster’s visit which may include coverages, timelines, and next steps.
4. Start Mitigation and Documentation
When it’s safe to return to your home, start the documentation process by taking pictures of any damage. Start the clean-up and dry out process to help mitigate your loss and prevent further damage. Get in contact with licensed contractors and water restoration companies to gather as many estimates or bids for repairs. Sort damaged personal property from undamaged and complete an inventory of the damaged items including the value or cost. Do not throw anything away until you have spoken to or seen your adjuster.
Tip: Receipts, invoices, and line item estimates will help your adjuster to expedite the settlement process.
5. Review The Adjuster’s Report and Sign a Proof of Loss
Claim settlements will be based on the adjuster’s final report and a proof of loss signed by the named insured. Make sure to keep all paid invoices/receipts for proof of repairs and replaced items.
Tip: Mortgage companies are listed on building claim payments as they have an interest in the property. Contact your mortgage lender for information on how to release claim payments for repairs.
Having a flooding event is never easy, regardless of the cause of the flood. But it always helps to be prepared so that if a flood happens, your clients’ claims can be filed and processed as quickly as possible so they can get back on their feet.
This article is provided for general informational purposes only and is not intended to provide individualized advice.
Additional Resources Provided by Aon Edge:
Policyholder Flood Preparedness Checklist
You've flooded now what?